Zoos and aquariums are important partners in coral reef conservation. From education to disease response, these institutions support efforts by organizations like NOAA. Here are some of the ways zoos and aquariums are working with NOAA and the ocean-interested public.
Many of these aquariums have extensive coral reef exhibits, such as the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, Florida, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois, and even the Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver, British Columbia. These exhibits allow young and old alike from around the world to connect with coral reefs and become invested in protecting and conserving them.
Zoos and aquariums have been supportive of the response to stony coral tissue loss disease. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums has joined the response efforts, and many facilities across the country are holding corals until they can be outplanted back onto the reef.
Zoos and aquariums are doing great work and are wonderful places to visit. Yet you don’t need to go to a zoo or museum to learn about coral reefs and other coastal and marine ecosystems. Many facilities have online resources, from educational tools to live web cameras.
Here are some coral reef exhibits at aquariums that you can view in real time, wherever you are:
The NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program was established in 2000 by the Coral Reef Conservation Act. Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the program is part of NOAA's Office for Coastal Management.